According to the optional skate, early signs are pointing to Brandon Mashinter making his debut for the Blueshirts.
According to Pat Leonard of the NY Daily News, Brandon Mashinter will make his New York Rangers debut tonight against the Montreal Canadiens. The 6-foot-4, 220 pound Bradford, Ontario native was acquired on January 16th from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for Tommy Grant and a conditional draft pick. Since being acquired, he has tallied up a total of five goals, and six assists in 14 games with the Connecticut Whale down in the American Hockey League.
With the recent injury to Darroll Powe, this move makes a ton of sense for the Rangers going up against this tough Montreal squad. While statistics didn't necessarily reflect Powe's game, he was a big part of the penalty kill, and grinding it out on the fourth line. Mashinter plays a similar style game to that of Powe, and is willing to drop the gloves at anytime as well. But, that's not his only skilled traits. He has a ton of speed to his game, and is great at retrieving pucks in the corners. I've watched this guy a few times down in Connecticut, and I knew it was only a matter of time before he was playing for John Tortorella.
Chris Kreider will remain a scratch tonight, which will be his second straight since being called up. The Rangers will likely keep him up for another game or so depending on how well Mashinter plays tonight.